Summer is grillin' season and why not? It's nice to relax outside with friends and family. (Plus, it's healthy and inexpensive, but "shhh..."). People talk about "perfect" grilling techniques, but did you know that one of the most important parts of grilling is marinating?
Yes folks, marinating is key because the juices moisten and enhance the flavors of your meats, seafoods, fruits, and veggies. The marinade, whatever it may be, transfers its flavors directly to the outside part of your food. Then, during the grilling process, the food blends with the marinade again adding the second round of flavor. Mmmm ...
But don't get too caught up in all that flavor. There are some important things to keep in mind:
- Marinades range in consistency, so don't be worried if you think it is too thick or thin.
- The easiest way to marinate is to toss your food and delightful mixture in a large ziplock bag. This way you can shake (to completely coat your food) without worry or disaster.
- Preparing in advance is great and I recommend it. However, after 6 hours it doesn't really make a difference and the juices actually start to breakdown your meat, cook your seafood, or overpower your fruits and veggies.
- It is very important to note that any additional marinade you have left must be boiled if you want to use it as a side sauce. Remember, you had raw foods soaking inside and you don't want to make your guests sick!
Choosing a marinade is completely up to you and your taste prefence - just make sure your flavors balance. The balance of a marinade is made up of three things:
- Acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, adds tang and allows the marinade to penetrate the food
- Aromatics, such as herbs or chiles, add flavor and punch
- Fats, such as olive oil or yogurt, keep your food from burning off the marinade before being fully cooked
Try of one our delicious marinades and get grilling!
Sweet Chicken Marinade
Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs
Chili Tabasco Tilapia
For more ideas, check out all our easy marinade recipes!